Seeker Music, the music-owning and publishing company led by hit songwriter Evan Bogart, has acquired the catalogs of songwriters John Ryan (One Direction, Maroon 5, John Legend) and John Bellion (Miley Cyrus, Camila Cabello, Eminem).
Separately, the company acquired select catalogs from two fellow songwriter-managed music companies: Family Affair Productions (Julian, Damon and Peter Bunetta), and Cara DioGuardi’s Arthouse Entertainment. The Family Affair deal includes John Ryan’s publishing shares as well as their share of the publishing rights of today’s top songwriter, Teddy Geiger, while the Arthouse deal includes shares in John Bellion’s publishing company. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Seeker aims to bring a songwriter-led, creator-centric approach to the publishing business, an attitude it shares with all of its partners. “We want to create a publishing company that celebrates and takes care of songwriters, so they feel like they’re being superserved,” said Bogart, who co-wrote Beyoncé’s “Hello” and Lizzo, along with songs by Madonna, Jason Derulo, Demi Lovato. and others. Along with his songwriting career and pursuit, he is currently working on a musical called “Verona” with his brother Tim. The film “Spinnin’ Gold,” a biopic of their father, Casablanca Records founder Neil Bogart, directed by the team, is scheduled for release in March. He is also president of the New Songwriters and Composers Section of the Recording Academy.
“Our staff are all creatives, writers and musicians who bring a hands-on approach to publishing,” he says of Seeker’s ethos. “We invest in music and songs that we love. I think some companies treat music as a simple acquisition – we lead with emotion and gut, and strategy follows.”
He has known Ryan, Bunetta and Bellion for years, as they are all contemporaries in the songwriting community. Ryan was working in a small studio below Peter Bunetta’s house when he first met Bogart.
“I was writing with my friend and collaborator Julian Bunetta, when John basically came out of a door at the bottom of the house,” says Bogart. “When I first heard his songwriting, I was in awe of his craft – I’ve been a huge fan of his creative genius since day one, and I can’t wait to work with him on songs I respect.”
This Julian often collaborated with Julian and Ryan wrote many of his hits with Ricky Reed, Bogart’s publishing client at the time, including Jason Derulo’s chart-topper “Wiggle” and Pitbull’s “Fireball”.
Steven Melrose, Seeker’s creative head, first met Ryan through Bunetas and also worked on One Direction records, when he was at Sony in the UK. “I’ve had my eye on working with John again since we were all connected on many Syco/Sony releases, so it’s a real privilege to work with his music again on Seeker.”
“Having known and worked with Ivan for so long, Seeker made the most sense for my catalog,” says Ryan. Evan ‘gets’ what it’s like to make music and I feel confident in handing my music over to Evan and his team.” Ryan’s other credits include solo career songs for Harry Styles, Niall Horan (“Slow Hands”) and Louis Tomlinson, Maroon 5 (“Don’t Wanna Know”), John Legend, Jessie Ware, Sabrina Carpenter and more.
Julian Bunetta, whose brother, and partner, Damon, brokered the Ryan deal as well as the acquisition of some of the catalogs behind the family affair, said “I’ve been friends with Evan for years, and know him as one of the good guys in the business. He has a great vision for Seeker and we believe in his and his team’s ability to do something special with these songs.”
The Seeker/Family Affair deal also includes Teddy Geiger’s publishing rights to songs such as Shawn Mendes’ “In My Blood,” “Stitches,” “There’s Nothing Holding Me Back,” Caroline Polachek’s “So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings” and others.
Bellion has co-written for Eminem and Rihanna (“The Monster”), Maroon 5 (“Memories”), Camila Cabello (“Shameless,” “Liar”), Miley Cyrus (“Midnight Sky,” “Prisoner”). and seven tracks from Justin Bieber’s chart-topping 2021 album trial (including “Holy”), with the release of two albums under his own name.
DioGuardi, who separately, along with partner Stephen Finfer, made a deal to sell Earthhouse’s share of Bellion’s catalog to Seeker (in addition to the deal between Seeker himself and Bellion), has known and collaborated with Bogart for nearly two decades. He said, “Evan is a multi-hyphenate whose accomplishments as a Grammy-award winning songwriter, creator and businessman make his company the perfect home for an arthouse music acquisition. We are lucky to have a partner in Evan, as his passion for music and songwriters is unmatched. We know that he would treat these works as if he had written them himself.”